Artist: The Newlydeads
CD Title: Dreams of a Dirt Map
Label: Full Effect Records
Reviewer: Robert Eaton
Dreams of a Dirt Map is going to be a great album for those that remember the Newlydeads from the time when guitar-heavy industrial ruled. The Newlydeads was essentially a side-project of Tiame Downs, of Faster Pussycat which, at various points, included most of the members of Faster Pussycat. The Newlydeads released 2 albums between 1997 and 2001, plus a remix album “The NewlyDeads, (1997), “Re-Bound” (1998) and “Dead End” (2001). The band was perhaps most noted for their cover of the Siouxie and the Banshie’s “Cities in Dust”. “Dreams of a Dirt Map” is a compilation album: a retrospective of the albums, unfortunately, with few surprises. However, for the follower of the band, there’s enough rarities tucked in here to make it worth the cost of the CD.
The Newlydeads’ “Dreams of a Dirt Nap” has 18 tracks, with a little bit of glam, a lot of grit. Songs like “Submission” and the aforementioned Siouxie and the Banshies cover offer the contentment of familiarity, but little in the way of new or unreleased material, which is probably the main disappointment in the collection. Those that remember the cover of “Cities in Dust,” from their 1997 self-titled album, might miss the chugging guitars, but the cover appearing on this compilation stands as a nice take on the iconic song. Retrospective albums are a difficult breed, but the main omission from the album seems to be The Newlydeads’ cover of “Terrible Lie,” which I am surprised is not included here. As far as highlights of the album: the rarity “Panties” seems tailor-made to be the soundtrack to your next visit to a local strip club. It’s one of the few tracks that seems unique to this collection. “Bunch of BS” is another hard-to-find track, with chugging guitars, that might make you want to take a shower after the CD stops. The album closes with the Newlydeads’ version of “Silent Night” (yes, the familiar Christmas carol, it appeared on certain re-released versions of the self-titled album) that ought to be remixed and be a standard around for when Goth nights fall close to that holiday. The song “Go” appeared on the 1998 re-mix album “Re-bound.”
Obviously, this album is somewhat of a nostalgia project, released almost a decade after the band’s debut, and 5 years after the band’s last studio venture. In a way, the album is an interesting trip back, but the songs deserve better than being dismissed as a novelty trip back. If you happen to be a fan of the confluence of glam rock and hair-metal, and industrial, you might see this album as a must-have. For newer fans of industrial and electro, this albums is enough of a curious foot-note, it’s still worth checking out.
Check out the band: http://www.myspace.com/newlydeads
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